When China Rules the World Summary and Reviews

When China Rules the World

The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order

by Martin Jacques

When China Rules the World by Martin Jacques

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Book Summary

According to even the most conservative estimates, China will overtake the United States as the world's largest economy by 2027 and will ascend to the position of world economic leader by 2050. But the full repercussions of China's ascendancy-for itself and the rest of the globe-have been surprisingly little explained or understood. In this far-reaching and original investigation, Martin Jacques offers provocative answers to some of the most pressing questions about China's growing place on the world stage.

Martin Jacques reveals, by elaborating on three historical truths, how China will seek to shape the world in its own image. The Chinese have a rich and long history as a civilization-state. Under the tributary system, outlying states paid tribute to the Middle Kingdom. Ninety-four percent of the population still believes they are one race-"Han Chinese." The strong sense of superiority rooted in China's history promises to resurface in twenty-first century China and in the process strengthen and further unify the country.

A culturally self-confident Asian giant with a billion-plus population, China will likely resist globalization as we know it. This exceptionalism will have powerful ramifications for the rest of the world and the United States in particular. As China is already emerging as the new center of the East Asian economy, the mantle of economic and, therefore, cultural relevance will in our lifetimes begin to pass from Manhattan and Paris to cities like Beijing and Shanghai. It is the American relationship with and attitude toward China, Jacques argues, that will determine whether the twenty-first century will be relatively peaceful or fraught with tension, instability, and danger.

When China Rules the World is the first book to fully conceive of and explain the upheaval that China's ascendance will cause and the realigned global power structure it will create.

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. As comprehensive as it is compelling, this brilliant book is crucial reading for anyone interested in understanding where we are and where we are going." - Publishers Weekly

"Given its density and scholarly nature this book will be most appealing to readers who already have some understanding of the debate over China's global role and are interested in another perspective." - Library Journal

"Cultural differences do matter, and Jacques ably demonstrates that China's process of modernization derives from its own 'native sources of dynamism.'" - Kirkus Reviews

"An extremely impressive book, full of bold but credible predictions. Only time will tell how Jacques's prophecies pan out, but I suspect his book will long be remembered for its foresight and insight." - The Guardian (UK)

"By far the best book on China to have been published in many years, and one of the most important inquiries into the nature of modernization...Jacques's comprehensive and richly detailed analysis will be an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to understand contemporary China." - New Statesman (UK)

"A tour de force...What Martin Jacques set out to do - and has done in meticulous detail - was to challenge what he regards as a dangerously false premise: that the rise of China will be benign." - The Independent (UK)

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Martin Jacques coedited and coauthored The Forward March of Labour Halted?, The Politics of Thatcherism, and New Times. Jacques cofounded the UK think tank Demos, has been a columnist for The Times of London, and was editor of Marxism Today and deputy editor of The Independent. He currently writes a regular column for The Guardian and is a visiting research fellow at the London School of Economics Asia Research Centre.

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